Antifungal effects of phytocompounds on Candida species alone and in combination with fluconazole.
Int J Antimicrob Agents. 2017 Feb ;49(2):125-136. Epub 2016 Dec 15. PMID: 28040409
Invasive fungal infections caused by Candida spp. remain the most predominant nosocomial fungal infections. Owing to the increased use of antifungal agents, resistance of Candida spp. to antimycotics has emerged frequently, especially to fluconazole (FLC). To cope with this issue, new efforts have been dedicated to discovering novel antimycotics or new agents that can enhance the susceptibility of Candida spp. to existing antimycotics. The secondary metabolites of plants represent a large library of compounds that are important sources for new drugs or compounds suitable for further modification. Research on the anti-Candida activities of phytocompounds has been carried out in recent years and the results showed that a series of phytocompounds have anti-Candida properties, such as phenylpropanoids, flavonoids, terpenoids and alkaloids. Among these phytocompounds, some displayed potent antifungal activity, with minimum inhibitory concentrations (MICs) of≤8 µg/mL, and several compounds were even more effective against drug-resistant Candida spp. than FLC or itraconazole (e.g. honokiol, magnolol and shikonin). Interestingly, quite a few phytocompounds not only displayed anti-Candida activity alone but also synergised with FLC against Candida spp., even leading to a reversal of FLC resistance. This review focuses on summarising the anti-Candida activities of phytocompounds as well as the interactions of phytocompounds with FLC. In addition, we briefly overview the synergistic mechanisms and present the structure of the antimycotic phytocompounds. Hopefully, this analysis will provide insight into antifungal agent discovery and new approaches against antifungal drug resistance.